Disney’s Jungle Cruise Tour updates original depictions
Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney Parks had previously been criticized for its depictions of indigenous peoples.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, USA TODAY
Disneyland has unveiled its course correction for its Jungle Cruise attraction in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Florida, which removes racist offensive depictions of indigenous peoples.
The changes to the popular tour, one of the original attractions that Walt Disney himself oversaw when Disneyland opened in 1955, officially open in Florida and California on July 16, where visitors are able to take the new Jungle Cruise under the soft opening.
Disney Parks announced the changes in January following criticism of the portrayal of indigenous peoples on the Jungle Cruise, promising a renewed attraction that would “reflect and appreciate the diversity of the world around us.”
The result is the animatronic attraction led by jokes that tell boat skippers, with added history that is more inclusive and less racially insensitive in its depiction of other cultures.
Tribal dancers, a war party waving spears and the shrunken main dealer Trader Sam have been removed from the seven-minute Jungle Cruise journey. In the new version, the unseen character Trader Sam remains a trader, but now trades in lost and found items that fictitious guests have left on their travels.
Disney World, Disneyland: Jungle Cruise updates depictions of indigenous peoples
During an introduction at Disneyland on Friday, Disney Imagineers said the attraction has been modernized many times since Walt Disney originally imagined the 66-year-old trip to reflect Disney’s nature documentaries “True-Life Adventures.”
The new attraction features Jungle Cruise skippers cracking jokes along the trip, representing four rivers ranging from the Nile to the Amazon to the Irrawaddy in Southeast Asia and the Ganges in India.
While the spotlight remains on the skippers, Jungle Cruise now dives into a background story centered around Alberta Falls, the new owner of Jungle Navigation Company Ltd., who are friends with the international members of a lucky safari of explorers – including an artist from Mexico , a botanist from Nova Scotia and an entomologist from Japan.
It is this diverse group of explorers that has been added as the characters are literally up the pole in the revised Jungle Cruise scene with animatronic rhinos and hyenas.
“The idea was how we bring this idea of diversity and inclusivity so that we can not only reflect our guests, but also our cast today,” said Susana Tubert, creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering, part of the team that oversaw the changes. .
The doomed voyage is worked into the history of the trip, which starts even during the trip’s queue with Easter eggs as hanging entomology butterfly pictures and a radio control shipping center that shows the voyage of discovery as missing without radio contact.
There are surprisingly sparse references to Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” movie adaptation starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt coming to theaters on July 28th. A display contains dryers from Frank Wolff (Johnson) and Dr. Lily Houghton (Blunt), hanging on a washing line along with discreet cards from the adventure movie. Disneyland Resort PR spokeswoman Michele Himmelberg said, “This is a case where the movie is actually based on the trip.”
The new story makes it clear that the trip’s animatronic hippos sank the expedition, leading to explorers being chased by wildlife. The expedition’s Mekong Maiden boat is overtaken by chimpanzees eating the botanist’s man-eating flower and playing with the missing artist’s paint.
Trader Sam’s Lost and Found is the last scene of the tour. There’s a sign that says, “Back in 15 minutes, Sam.” But there is no sign of the removed, controversial character.
“He’s right out right now collecting things that he wants to sell you in lost and found,” explained presenter Kim Irvine.
Monkeys have taken over the lost and found place.
“At the end of the ride, you find that it’s really the animals that get the last laugh,” Tubert said, “It’s a twist on our riding history.”